Educating the public about the dangers associated with allowing trash and other pollutants to enter neighborhood storm drains and local culverts is important and can result in reduced concentrations of containments in our waters. Storm drain water comes from streets after a rain or snow storm and carries untreated trash and chemicals directly into our creeks and streams that feed the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers. By participating in our storm drain marking program volunteers learned about the marking process, became knowledgeable about where polluted water goes after entering storm drains, and helped spread the word about not dumping trash into storm drains.
We partnered with the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) on DC storm drain marking projects to help educate our neighbors and friends about the environment. In the past, storm drains were stenciled with the words “Don’t Dump! Anacostia River Drainage” or “Do Not Pollute! Drains to the Anacostia River.” Now we use an adhesive to place storm drain signs, like the one shown above, over the tops of storm drains. Signs like this provide a lasting reminder that our gutters, driveways, streets, and sidewalks are all connected to the Anacostia River by networks of pipe and the flow of water during a rain storm. If we drop our trash and chemicals on our streets and sidewalks, they are bound to end up in our waterways sooner or later!